Right Thinking From The Left Coast
If everything seems under control, you're not going fast enough. - Mario Andretti

There’s No Compassion In Baseball!
by Lee

I’ve always loved baseball.  I played little league from tee-ball all the way up to the senior leagues when I was in the 10th grade.  As many of you know, I grew up in various locales all over the world.  I did 4th through 6th grade in Stavager, Norway.  The American community there formed its own little league, and I played every year. 

The problem was that, since there were only a limited number of kids to choose from, the age ranges on the teams was quite large.  You’d have kids going from the 4th grade to the 8th grade on the same team, for example, and there is a world of difference in size, strength, and athletic ability between a 9 year old and a 13 year old.  Naturally the older kids played the important positions—pitcher, first base, and so on.  I’d get up to bat and I’d have a kid four years older than me throwing balls that there was no way I could hit.  So, for almost the entire season, I struck out every time.  In my 5th grade year I got one hit, just one, and I was thrown out at first.  (The shortstop and first baseman were both older than me.)

And man, did this hurt.  I remember sitting in the parking lot with my mom crying my eyes out, because I wasn’t getting to hit.  I loved playing the game, but like any kid I wanted to play more and do more and get more hits and get more wins.  It was disheartening to say the least.  But still, I was out there every game, and I played.  And I think that the lessons I learned from doing so have stayed with me my whole life.  With that in mind, Dennis Prager has a must-read column up at Town Hall which touches on this very subject.

This past weekend, a friend of mine attended his 13-year-old son’s baseball game. What he saw encapsulates a major reason many of us fear for the future of America and the West.

His son’s team was winning 24-7 as the game entered the last inning. When he looked up at the scoreboard, he noticed that the score read 0-0. Naturally, he inquired as to what happened—was the scoreboard perhaps broken?—and was told that the winning team’s coach asked the scoreboard keeper to change the score. He and some of the parents were concerned that the boys on the losing team felt humiliated.

In order to ensure that the boys losing by a lopsided score would not feel too bad, the score was changed.

Trust me on this one, read the whole thing.

Posted by Lee on 03/30/07 at 10:50 AM (Discuss this in the forums)


Posted by on 03/30/07 at 01:26 PM from United States

Usually I detest this self-righteous prick and the crowd he pimps for. 
But he got it right this time:  We are turning into a nation of pussies. 
Completely off topic, but hilarious!

Posted by on 03/30/07 at 01:53 PM from United States

Wait...these kids are 13???  Jeez, I wouldn’t allow this for 7 year-olds. It’s called reality.

My kid’s team is 8-1 this season.  They were 7-0 up until last week when they got absolutely crushed. Part of me (a pretty big part) was happy they got trounced.  Nobody goes through life undefeated.  My kid was miserable for about an hour and then was pretty much over it.

Posted by on 03/30/07 at 02:24 PM from United States

The problem is that these people believe that the reason for sending their kids to play baseball is to build up their self-esteem. Let every kid have a shot at whatever they want to do, don’t tally up the score, and then everyone’s a winner. But the whole reason little league was started was to teach kids what’s important in the real world: trying your hardest despite the circumstances and realizing that competition matters.

When my parents were taking me to my little league games (again I thank them for that), they told me it didn’t matter if I won or lost, only that I did my best. At the time I thought it was a crock, because if competition was important then winning was what mattered. But as I grew older and reflected on those games I realized that, yes, you can only measure an individual by their actions and efforts and that money and success, or “winning in life”, doesn’t necessarily reflect on their character. But at the same time, when you lose no one’s going to bail you out, so you have to keep competing in life.

It did take me years to realize the sheer brilliance of having children compete in sports like this, but the version of the game described in this article completely nullifies any of those qualities.

Posted by on 03/30/07 at 02:31 PM from United States

My kid was miserable for about an hour and then was pretty much over it.

Yes, but there’s still a danger your child can grow up to write a liberal defeatist blog that doesn’t glorify the President or God.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 03/30/07 at 02:37 PM from United States

Rather than build their self-esteem, this will crush it.  It will make them fragile little creatures who can’t take the fucking that’s life.  Real self-esteem is built on years of humiliation, defeat and failure.  It thickens your skin so that when actual disaster strikes—family problems, serious illness, your own children’s woes—you can deal with it.  I can’t imagine what will happen to these kids when they encounter real problems in life.

Half the problem in America is people unable to distinguish between an inconvenience and a crisis.  getting humiliated in sporting event—and as scientist, I’ve been on the receiving end of much humiliation in this regard—is an inconvenience.

My one point of hope is that whatever these parents do, their kids are certaintly keeping score and know they’re being blown out.  And if they’re anything like kids I grew up with, humiliation is a regular social pattern.  So no matter what their stupid parents do, they’ll build their tough hides anyway.

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 03/30/07 at 02:39 PM from United States

What’ll happen is that these kids will grow up expecting no disappointments in life, which means they won’t be able to handle reality. Which will make them perfect voters for the Democratic Party.

I don’t recall this ever happening when I was growing up-you were taught that losing was part of the game. Self-esteem was something you earned.

Posted by Santino on 03/30/07 at 02:42 PM from Canada

I think this is appropos.  I play in a sports league in Toronto.  Its made up of mainly mid-twenty to thirty somethings.  Our total points are broken down into 75% for game points and 25% for “spirit points”.  We actually have to rate the opposing team on a scale of 0-5 on their competitive “spirit”.  So if a team is all kind-hearted you give them a 5 and if they are pricks you give them a 0.  I’d find this ridiculous for a t-ball league, let alone something adults must do.  Fortunately we don’t use scoreboards.

Posted by on 03/30/07 at 05:01 PM from United States

In a related story, Cincinnati little league banned all taunting from the opposing team. No more “swing batter swing” “strike out batter” “this guy’s got nothin’” “easy out” “here’s our third out” or “right down the pipe, this guy can’t touch you”
It’s absolutely nuts. This liberal mentality of leveling the playing field discouraging individual achievement in favor of for the good of the collective.

Posted by BKAY on 03/30/07 at 05:04 PM from United States

Rather than build their self-esteem, this will crush it.
Posted by Hal_10000 on 03/30/07 at 03:37 PM

Self-esteem was something you earned.
Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 03/30/07 at 03:39 PM

Self esteem is useless, it’s lib speak for a pussiefied version of self respect. If you have self respect, you have the confidence and courage to value others, and thus respect them. If you have self esteem you are satisfied with anything and EVERYTHING you do, even if it’s a failure.

This story exemplifies that, the losing teams gets to have self-esteem, despite the fact that they couldn’t compete. A player with self respect would take the loss home and figure how to do better next time, a player with self esteem will never try to improve himself, because he’s satisfied with how he played, not whether he won or lost.

It’s why so many kids have no respect for their elders, the have no respect for themselves. To me it comes down to: you have to give respect, to get respect, and can’t give if have none of your own.

Posted by on 03/30/07 at 07:44 PM from United States


This past weekend, a friend of mine attended his 13-year-old son’s baseball game. What he saw encapsulates a major reason many of us fear for the future of America and the West.

This is bullshit. Little League and most organized leagues up through high school have a
“slaughter rule” that when a team builds up a lead of more than 10 points, the game is stopped early.  And the main reason isn’t to preserve someone’s “feelings” but that heavily mismatched teams tend to produce VERY long games.  I doubt what Prager said is true because by most accounts this game would have already been stopped.
Give me a break, does everything have to have a political context?  If so, what is the political affiliation of the obnoxious parents in the stand screaming and berating their child or the coach cause they don’t like what Junior is doing or how he’s being coached?  And really, how insightful is this continual line of thinking?

Posted by Miguelito on 03/31/07 at 12:35 AM from United States

Back when I played LL (just over 20 frickin years ago.. ouch) the “slaughter rule” was a team scoring 10 points in one inning.  With a similar rule, the story is completely possible.

It was also simply to keep a game from taking forever, as you note, not due to the losing teams feelings.  Most of us actually hated that rule and wanted to play it through anyway.

Posted by syddelish on 03/31/07 at 02:04 AM from United States

i remember when i played soccer. our team sucked, big time. we didn’t score a single point the entire season. we got our asses handed to us like the french.

at the ‘awards ceremony’ at the end of the season, after the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place trophies were handed out, they gave out trophies to all the teams in the league just for participating.

i hated that trophy. i had not earned a trophy. my team sucked. i sucked. they only gave us a trophy for ‘playing’. i threw the trophy away.

the next year, ashamed of our suckiness, our team practiced hard and played even harder. we took third place. i kept that trophy because we had earned it. we went from last place to third in one year.

now, which meant more to my ‘self esteem’? a trophy that every team was handed or the trophy my team and i ‘worked for’?

that was over twenty years ago.

i see things have only gotten worse.

Posted by on 03/31/07 at 07:13 AM from United States

I think the rule is after 5 innings if a team has a 10 point lead or more, the game is stopped.

Posted by on 03/31/07 at 09:42 AM from United States


They’re not points, they’re runs.

/pet peeve mode OFF

Posted by on 03/31/07 at 01:31 PM from United States


They’re not points, they’re runs.

/pet peeve mode OFF

You’ll have to cut beano some slack.  She’s a liberal female...she knows about art, not sports....  :)

Posted by Brian at Tomfoolery on 03/31/07 at 01:58 PM from United States

I just love liberalism.  If they could get away with it, liberals would come to my house every 15th and 30th of the month and steal enough money to give it to some jerkoff who quit high school so we could have the same amount and so he would not have his feelings hurt.

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